Vikings could have a new starting right guard this week vs. Falcons

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Blake Brandel and Ezra Cleveland
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Blake Brandel and Ezra Cleveland /

Minnesota Vikings right guard Dru Samia did not practice on Thursday.

A few weeks ago when it was announced that right guard Pat Elflein was going to miss a few games for the Minnesota Vikings games due to a hand injury, some were excited to see his replacement, Dru Samia, get an opportunity to be a starter.

That excitement quickly vanished after Samia’s first game and now people are checking their phones every two seconds to see when Elflein is going to return. Samia has arguably performed worse than any other starting offensive lineman in the NFL this season and his play out on the field has been preventing the Vikings offense from meeting their full potential.

Elflein still isn’t ready to return and take his job back, but there could be someone else lining up at right guard for Minnesota when they take on the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday.

Rookie offensive lineman could make his Minnesota Vikings debut this week

With the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson reporting on Wednesday that Elflein isn’t expected to return to the field for the Vikings this week, it seemed like Samia was going to remain the team’s starting right guard for at least one more game.

However, a significant development was revealed on Thursday when Minnesota posted their most recent injury report. Samia was listed on the report with a wrist injury and he did not participate in the Vikings practice on Thursday.

Prior to the updated injury report, Minnesota offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak had conveniently been complimenting the progression of rookie offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland during his meeting with the local media. If Samia can’t play on Sunday, most are assuming that it will be Cleveland who takes over his starting spot on the Vikings offensive line.

If the rookie does end up playing against Atlanta this week, he might actually line up at left guard for Minnesota and Dakota Dozier could shift over to the right guard spot. Either way, there’s a chance that the Vikings could be rolling out a new starting offensive line on Sunday in their matchup with the Falcons.

If Cleveland does get an opportunity to start this week, it should be expected that he will make some mistakes since he is a rookie and he didn’t have the chance to work on some of his weaknesses in a preseason this year.

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But he can’t be any worse than Samia, right?